Massacre victim’s anger at 3,000 missing guns

Dated: 08/03/13'Horden shootings survivor Laura McGoldrick looks on as Bobby Turnbull reads a statement at the conclusion of the inquest into the deaths of Susan McGoldrick, Alison Turnbull, and her daughter Tanya. The hearing was examining the death of the three women shot dead by Michael Atherton on New Year's Day last year at his home in Horden, near Peterlee, County Durham. Atherton killed himself after shooting the 3 women. Bobby Turnbull is the son of Alison and the brother of Tanya.'' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES
Dated: 08/03/13'Horden shootings survivor Laura McGoldrick looks on as Bobby Turnbull reads a statement at the conclusion of the inquest into the deaths of Susan McGoldrick, Alison Turnbull, and her daughter Tanya. The hearing was examining the death of the three women shot dead by Michael Atherton on New Year's Day last year at his home in Horden, near Peterlee, County Durham. Atherton killed himself after shooting the 3 women. Bobby Turnbull is the son of Alison and the brother of Tanya.'' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES
0
Have your say

A CAMPAIGNING son whose mum and sister were gunned down in cold blood says is concerned by figures which show 3,000 firearms were lost or stolen.

According to Home Office figures, 1,939 weapons were stolen from and 953 were lost by licence holders from 2007 to 2011.

The majority of these were shotguns, with 1,448 lost and 730 stolen.

Bobby Turnbull, who is grieving the death of his mum Alison Turnbull, 44, and sister Tanya Turnbull, 24, and aunt Susan McGoldrick, 47, who died at the hands of Susan’s partner Michael Atherton, in Horden on New Year’s Day last year, says the figures are “worrying”.

The 24-year-old, who is campaigning for stronger vetting of gun licence applicants, especially those with a history of domestic abuse and mental problems, said: “I knew it happened, but I didn’t know it was that high.

“It just shows 3,000 guns are on the streets, having been turned from legal to illegal, and are now in the wrong hands.

“It’s worrying that someone could use one of these weapons to kill someone or rob a bank.”

Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle called for “root and branch” reform of gun licensing after ruling that the three young women were unlawfully killed.

Bobby, who lives in East Street, Blackhall and works at Hartlepool Golf Course, added: “If the laws do get tightened up, it might stop certain applicants getting guns.

“Those 3,000 guns may be because people don’t lock them away properly or are leaving them in car boots, which is obviously irresponsible.”

Easington MP Grahame Morris, who mentions the startling statistic in his column this week, said: “The more I have looked into the issue of gun ownership in this country, and the more I talked with people who, like the Turnbull family, have experienced the terrible effects of gun crime, the more I realised a whole series of things need to be done.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Our firearms legislation protects public safety while ensuring controls are practical and proportionate.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) say lost or stolen weapons should be reported to police, who would launch a licence review.